Jinshanling Great Wall
Jinshanling Great Wall is about 150 kilometers away from Beijing, lies in the mountainous area in Ruanping county
of Hebei province - a key military stronghold. The structure was mainly built
in 1570 of Ming dynasty. The 20-kilometer-long structure, although a bit
smaller and narrower compared to Badaling and Mutianyu features complicated
and well preserved fortifications systems and fantastic natural scenery.
The wall looks a bit old and
ruinous but much more natural, 7.8 meters high, 5-6 meters thick at bottom. On
the top, slab pavements were 4 meters wide with 2 meter-high parapets on each
side. On the side facing the enemy stood 7-foot- (2-metre-) high crenels
called duo-kou. On the upper part of the duo-kou were large openings used to
watch and shoot at attackers, and on the lower part were small openings or
loopholes, through which defenders could also shoot. Besides, "obstacle-walls"
built perpendicular to the parapets. These "walls-within-walls" were used for
continued defense against enemies who might have succeeded in scaling the
Two-storeyed watchtowers were
built on the wall in some strategic places. The ground floor was used for
living, storing food and weapons and the top floor was used for defense. The
watchtowers were in different shapes, some square, some oval and others in
strange shapes. Their roofs are flat, sloped, thatched, or even octagonal.
Pu-fang - simply structured huts were built to provide shelter for the guards
during storms. Inside watchtowers, anfractuous walls and passages also reveal
the wisdom and tenacity of ancient Chinese.
If you want to see the wall, but
avoid the crowds of Badaling, this is the place to come, but be prepared for a
walk from the car park up to the wall.
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